There is nothing more American than a great party. At the Beijing Olympics, who partied harder than the Americans? In particular, the Redeem Team was seen everywhere, from the Water Cube to the Beijing beach, whooping it up in the name of the good ole USA. Next was Denver, where the DNC festivities couldn’t be contained by an indoor arena. And finally, the RNC demonstrated that every day can be the Fourth of July. It took the patriotic party to a new level with chants of “U – S – A” after every nationalistic proclamation.
Until this week, little did we know that Big Oil was king of the party crews. Those wacky, fun-loving guys from “Animal House” grew up to work in Big Oil and they invited the b-crats from the Minerals Management Service to join in the ongoing festivities.
Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll were the order of the day when the petroleum industry and the Minerals Management Service got together. Good for them. They were just having a little fun. An American tradition like no other – the ongoing party. New offshore oil drilling leases will just give Big Oil a bigger budget to have fun. After all, the guys who brought you $4 gas and multi-billion dollar quarterly profits, managed to put some levity in government without negative impacts to shareholder returns. And maybe we can add additional information on the gas pumps next to the Prop 65 toxics warnings and the gas tax descriptions. It could say, “1 percent of the cost of every gallon of gas goes to keep the rager going!”
Many of us in the environmental community will seize upon the publicity surrounding the MMS as an opportunity to advocate against new oil and gas projects in ecologically sensitive areas. Some enviro leaders may even say that MMS staff must have been high to make some of the horrible deals for the government that have resulted in environmental harm and ridiculously low fees coming to the government in exchange for resource extraction.
The most cynical of us may even say that this “government decisions for sale” approach may have played a role in the ridiculous gas prices we see at the pump. But that sort of misguided, attack-dog mentality in order to achieve such ethereal goals as environmental protection and government ethics smacks of self-righteousness. After all, no one likes a killjoy. They can ruin any party.